IB Primary Years Programme 

    Information for Parents

    Click on the image above to see a video from the IBO.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is it?
    The International Baccalaureate Organization was founded in 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland to establish a consistent curriculum for international students. They offer four programmes: Primary Years Programme (PYP) for elementary students, Middle Years Programme (MYP) for middle school students, Diploma Programme (DP) for high school students, and the IB Career-Related Programme for high school students on a career/technical track. The IB focuses on best teaching practices and provides education for more than a million students in over 146 countries. 

    How do we learn?  
    The primary teaching model for all IB PYP schools is inquiry-based instruction. Inquiry includes research, wondering, questioning, experimenting, developing curiosity, and much more. We will continue to use the workshop model for reading and math instruction which allows teachers to group students by ability levels, teach mini-lessons, and engage learners in hands-on activities appropriate for their needs.  We use the inquiry cycle to organize our lessons:  ask, engage, create, discuss, and reflect.

    What do we study? 
    As a public school, we will continue to follow the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Math along with the N.C. Essential Standards in Science and Social Studies. These standards are incorporated into our Programme of Inquiry, organized around the six transdisciplinary themes: 

    • Who We Are
    • Where We Are in Place and Time
    • How We Express Ourselves
    • How the World Works
    • How We Organize Ourselves
    • Sharing the Planet

    Grades K-5 participate in six units of inquiry that connect all subject areas through big ideas or key concepts (form, function, causation, connection, change, perspective, responsibility, and reflection). PreK participates in 4 units of study. Teaching and learning in a transdisciplinary way connects ideas both in and out of the classroom.

    How do we teach students to be internationally minded? 
    Through the development of a set of attributes called the IB Learner Profile, students will have the tools to be successful anywhere in the world. These attributes are the mission statement of the IB and include: balanced, caring, communicator, inquirer, knowledgeable, open-minded, principled, reflective, risk-taker, and thinker. The IB philosophy also suggests that the best inquiry should lead to positive action. Community service is just one of the ways students may take action. Actions may be big or small, like continuing to read about an issue based on a class discussion. The IB PYP encourages more student led action and less adult-driven service.

    How are students evaluated? 
    We will continue to follow the state and district testing schedules and will also document student progress in the IB PYP through portfolios, work products, and written reflections. We want students to become reflective and one of the ways to develop this attribute is by teaching students to evaluate their own work and make revisions for improvement. Writing is also an emphasis in the IB PYP and helps to develop communication skills as students explain their thinking using reflective writing.

    What about language learning? 
    Spanish will be offered as the additional language. All students will participate in an exploratory study of this language and culture as part of our ENCORE rotation. 

     How is character developed? 
    The IB Learner Profile and IB Attitudes develop strong character and support student citizenship.  

    • The IB Learner Profile
      balanced, caring, communicator, inquirer, knowledgeable, open-minded, principled, reflective, risk-taker, and thinker
      • IB Attitudes subsumed into the Learner Profile
        appreciation, commitment, confidence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect, and tolerance 

    Is the IB PYP offered to all students at W.M. Irvin Elementary? 
    Yes, all students who attend WMIES, participate in the IB PYP, both those who are in our attendance boundary and those who have applied through the School Choice Program.  Magnet students and non-magnet students are placed in the same homeroom classes and receive the same instruction. WMIES IB PYP School Choice Expectation Agreement

    Is there a sibling guarantee? 
    Siblings of magnet students at W.M. Irvin Elementary will have a magnet seat if space is available.

    Will students have to apply each year? 
    Once students have been accepted and have a magnet seat, they will not need to re-apply to continue in the IB PYP at W.M. Irvin Elementary.  Students who live in our attendance boundary automatically participate in the IB PYP and do not need to apply through the annual magnet lottery, which takes place each November-December for the following school year.

    Do magnet students have to be in the AIG, Academically-Intellectually Gifted, program?
    The IB Primary Years Programme is open to students of all ability levels.   The AIG program will continue to be offered to those students who qualify for acceleration and enrichment based on testing.  The AIG program works in conjunction with the IB PYP, offering differentiated instruction connected to the IB units of inquiry and other elements of the IB PYP. 

    When will W.M. Irvin Elementary become an authorized IB World School? 
    W.M. Irvin Elementary opened as an IB candidate school in the 2017-18 school year. After 2 1/2 years, WM Irvin will have its official authorization visit from the IB organization. After authorization, IB World Schools continue to be evaluated every five years to ensure the IB standards are met and the programme is strengthened.

    Will students be able to continue in the IB after WMIES? 
    All students have the opportunity to continue in the middle school program, IB MYP, but must meet the academic criteria set by Cabarrus County Schools to be admitted into this program. The IB PYP builds the foundation in inquiry based learning, additional language, and taking action through service which becomes a required area of study in the MYP (Middle Years Programme) and high school DP (Diploma Programme). 

    For information regarding IB middle school placement for the next school year, please visit the Cabarrus County Schools interactive pathway for School Choice/Magnet Programs at https://www.cabarrus.k12.nc.us/programchoice.

    For more information, visit International Baccalaureate Organization

    To schedule a school tour, contact Debra Bralley, IB PYP Coordinator